The wheels of the bus will be turning toward North Simcoe with county staff providing Tay council with an update on the new LINX Transit route that will be going through the township.
County employees David Parks, director planning, development and transit, and Dennis Childs, manager of transit, will be at a Tay council committee meeting this Thursday to share news around the upcoming LINX Transit route 6 that has two stops in the township.
According to the presentation part of the agenda, a "soft launch" for the service is planned for this summer. The report says the pandemic caused a delay to the launch. The route will use two buses, both of which will be accessible and can accommodate two wheelchairs.
The Monday to Friday transit service will begin opeating at 6 a.m, with last buses leaving Midland and Orillia at 6 p.m. The run time for the route is 60 minutes. The six stops included on the route are Midland, Victoria Harbour, Waubaushene, Coldwater, Warminster and Orillia.
Council had reached out to the county to request a stop in Port McNicoll too, however, the presentation lists some reasons for why that will not be possible.
For the route to include Port McNicoll, two stops have to be considered, one at Talbot Street and another across the from it on Triple Bay Road. This increases run time by eight minutes, hence the stop will not mean the established goals and objective of the system.
The presentation says that the county offers study grants of up to $50,000 for establishing or enhancing local transit on a 50/50 cost-share basis.
Also on the agenda is an update from Coun. Paul Raymond about the Severn Sound Environmental Association's (SSEA) budget request, $132,269, including special projects, but not HST, which has increased by $48,000 for 2021.
Raymond's report says member municipalities are bound by the SSEA agreement to pay the core services portion, which includes source water protection, a core service required by provincial legislation. The report further says that all administrative costs are also considered core services. Core services were altered in 2020 to include invasive species, previously a special project.
"Costs that are applicable to projects, including labour and benefits, are allocated to projects and most often 10% or 20% of project revenues are allocated back to core to offset overhead," says the report. "Costs other than labour that are project specific are charged directly to the project."
To answer the question about why there was an increase in costs year-to-year, the SSEA has come back with an explanation around significant costs incurred due to offices being moved from Midland to Tay and IT costs at the new building. As well, the report says the non-profit rejigged its budgeting to introduce a reserves policy.
Coun. Sandy Talbot is bringing forward a verbal report on a code of conduct for members of the public when communicating with township staff and council.
The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and can be watched online or via telephone at (705)999-0385 using meeting ID: 830 8515 1710.
Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com